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Gunman behind brazen killing: 'I did it'

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Gunman behind brazen killing: 'I did it'


POSTED January 22, 2013 5:35 p.m.
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The man who shot to death a 20-year-old motorist in broad daylight at a well-traveled Ceres intersection back on Jan. 11, 2010 received a 20-years to life prison sentence on Friday after agreeing to a plea bargain agreement.

Pleading guilty allowed Primitivo Guizar, 21, to avoid trial and the death penalty.

Amadeo Avalos, 20, of Modesto, was fatally shot in late morning on Jan. 11, 2010 as he was driving eastbound on Whitmore Avenue as he approached Morgan Road. The shooter rolled up to the passenger side of Avalos' red Chevy pickup, fired multiple rounds at Avalos through the window, and fled. The pickup with a mortally wounded Avalos rolled forward and crashed into a chain-link fence at the southeast corner of Whitmore and Morgan. Avalos was dead when police arrived.

Guizar admitted in court that the murder was intended as retribution for a prior home invasion robbery committed by Patricia Avalos, sister of the homicide victim. The dead man had no involvement with the robbery, he admitted in court, but said at the time he "felt her actions should be avenged." Guizar also expressed that "my rage took control of me" and admitted he "was so wrong for so many reasons."

Prosecutor Jared Carrillo long insisted that Avalos' murder was hatched by a family victimized in a home invasion robbery in south Modesto. The robbery, staged two days before the Ceres shooting, resulted in the loss of jewelry and other valuables totaling an estimated $250,000. After the robbery, members of the victimized family gathered to formulate a plan to get back the stolen items from the perpetrators, said Carrillo. When the six were unsuccessful in retrieving the property, talk turned to murder, he said.

Patricia Avalos was convicted in April 2010 of holding a gun on the Sanchez family during the Jan. 9, 2010 home invasion robbery and sentenced to 21 years in prison.

A number of other people were prosecuted in the brazen murder. Enrique Alonso Valadez, a family friend who allegedly drove the assassin's vehicle, plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter to avoid a first-degree murder and lying in wait charge.

Guizar's sister, Lucila Sanchez of Ceres, who drove a vehicle behind Avalos' red pickup moments before the attack, plea-bargained with a voluntary manslaughter charge as well.

Others charged were: Heliberto Sanchez Guizar, as an accessory to murder; Luis Sanchez and Rosa Sanchez, a Modesto couple who are the parents of Lucila Sanchez and Heliberto and Primitivo Guizar.

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